Hello, everyone! HnG here, doing something a little unusual with this PbP idea. Just try to have some fun with it, I have no idea how well it will or won't work. I'm being very open-ended with this to start, because I want some input from you guys about how exactly this is going to be done.
Campaign Title: Tears of the Prophet
System: Ars Magica 5th Edition
of Players: 4-6
Deadline: Don't feel the need to rush. I'll worry about deadlines once I'm sure this will even garner enough interest.
Starting Level: Your mains are straight out of apprenticeship. Companions should be no older than 30, but PM me if you want to make a case for an older one. Grogs, as usual, can be any age.
Advancement Rules: Companions and grogs advance as normally, and Poor and Wealthy both have their normal effects. Your mains have had their normal training extended by five years, matching the length of a Hermetic apprenticeship and bestowing the same amount of experience (240), though you only get 105 levels of spells rather than 120.
Combat Rules: This is up to you guys. We can probably just do the combats normally since I'm pushing for a faster posting rate, but that still might use up way too much time. If you can all come to a consensus about using, say, some kind of instant messenger or something, then I'll do my best to conform to your wishes.
Dice-Rolling Rules: We're all big kids here, we can roll our own dice and be honest about it.
Special Rules: For starters, you may have noticed my weird language before, so I'll come out and say this now: you're not Hermetic magi. Your magi slots are to be filled with Gifted Gruagachan. Your mains also receive the Unaffected by the Gift and Educated minor Virtues for free. UnGifted hedge wizards as companions (or, I suppose, grogs) are both allowed and encouraged. Some make less sense than others (for example I'm not expecting Learned Magicians or Elementalists) but there are certainly a few other types of hedgies around to be playable. Importantly, the Unaffected by the Gift Virtue can not be given to somebody through Gruagachan magic. More house rules may be added; if you guys have any you particularly enjoy, do please recommend them.
Posting Rate: I'm hoping for the relatively fast rate of one post every two days. If this is too much for everyone, let me know and I'll try to slow down.
Absences: Try not to be absent... If you will be, try to let me know in advance and tell me what to do with your character (whether that's NPC them, have them fade into the background, whatever). If you just disappear, you'll be defaulted to "distracted by something that has no affect on the story or other characters," assuming it's your companion or magus-equivalent, or most likely "killed by sudden SG fiat" if it's just a grog.
Writing Expectations: However much you want, as long as what you post is interesting. Avoid one-liners.
Text Formatting: OOC comments in blue, you each get to call two dialogue colors (one each for your gruagach and companion), all grogs speak in green. Dark red is specifically disallowed, as that's the color I'll be using for all NPC dialogue.
Plot- or Character-Driven: Some of each, but leaning towards character-driven. There's an overarching story thing going on, but I don't have a specific plotline intended, and how much you interact with the story thing is to a fair degree under your own control. Sometimes the "plot" will come to you, and you'll just have to deal with it in whatever way you choose; however, I won't railroad you into something plot-like if I give you a lead on the next plot event and you choose not to go for it. Frankly, if it's an event it'll happen whether you're there or not, and if it's information or an artifact or something it's on you to discover or not discover it. And at any rate, the plot-type stuff will be fairly rare, so you'll have plenty of time for character-driven stories.
Focus: There's a big focus on personal development, expansion, and revolutionizing the way things are/have been done. I'd also like there to be a bit more combat than in your usual Ars Magica game, though that's up to you guys. Still not a whole lot of combat, but a bit more than normal.
Character Types: All magus-equivalents are Gifted Gruagachan, as mentioned previously. No character directly affiliated with the Order of Hermes is allowed, though it's okay for characters to know a bit about the Order (so, for example, scores in Order of Hermes Lore are okay). Creatures with Magic Might (not any of the other Realms) are allowed as companions or grogs, but not magus-equivalents. It's mostly up to you how your characters are, but all Gruagachan and on-site companions must have a vested desire to make the Experiment work. All Gruagachan should also be relatively learned fellows, as explained by the free Educated Virtue, and you are no longer in the presence of your masters, having left to found the Experiment as soon as your fifteen years of instruction were complete.
Campaign Description: Twenty years ago, an extremely popular Gruagach prophet sacrificed their life to call forth an ultimate vision, revealing that within the next five years, (insert four, five, or six) Gifted children would be found in a single town, who would all display a unique resistance to the negative effects engendered by the Gifts of others, a property only known of among the Gruagachan in legends. The vision also revealed, in very vague terms, that if the children were trained as Gruagach priests (and priestesses?) and given an opportunity to work together unimpeded, they would have the potential to bring the Gruagachan and their religion back to prominence and prevent a great evil from entering the world. Though many questioned the validity of the vision due to the unbelievably monumental nature of what was predicted, the prophet's strong reputation among his peers allowed his words to not be instantly disregarded, and sure enough, the predicted number of children were found in the predicted city, all Gifted, yet all unbothered by one another's Gift and the Gifts of those who went to find them. Though many were still opposed to giving the children any special treatment, it was eventually decided after much strong-arming that the children would be allowed the opportunities the prophet recommended; thus, they were trained for a longer period of time than usual and, upon completion of their training, they were all sent to Rikasta, a (insert covenant-like area that I'd like to design with you guys if you don't mind) that had been found/constructed for their usage, somewhat separated from the normal distractions of Gruagachan life. There, they would be able to advance their abilities with far less obstruction, work together far better than other Gruagachan have been known to, and (as some hoped) potentially revolutionize the Gruagachan way of life through their works...
This is a pretty rough sketch. Any input from you guys on more things to put in would be appreciated. In a nutshell, some Unaffected by the Gift Gruagachan living in a covenant-like place (though altered in some of its fundamentals to more closely match Gruagachan tradition and flavor) with a big whopping prophecy over their heads and all the social pressures that come with that. Anybody interested?